cover image A Happy Place

A Happy Place

Britta Teckentrup. Tiger Tales, $18.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-66430-039-2

The wonders of nighttime await a brown-skinned child in a cozy hat who responds to a star’s invitation: “Follow me.../ and I will help you find a happy place.” As the child follows the star’s repeated “Let’s go” outdoors, fields of flowers wave, a river glimmers, and a forest beckons under a brilliant full moon. Die-cut openings soon reveal a growing group of animal companions—a “tippy-toed/ squirrel,” a fox, a hare, two stoats—who gather to “dance/ and sing/ in the light/ of the moon/ together.” Next, they depart, leaving child and star alone once more: “just/ you and me,/ embracing the/ world.” Viewed through greenery, as if in secret, the child is seen reaching, arms wide, the star at the tip of one hand, before returning home. Spreads with a cut-out window view the child safe in bed with the star guardian outside: “I will watch over you, sleeping peacefully.” For this dreamy fantasy, Teckentrup (My Little Book of Big Questions) fuses imagination, natural beauty, and a sense of escape to create a heady mix that presents evening as a place of security and wonder. Ages 3–7. (Feb.)